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BIOSPHERE RESERVES OF INDIA

2nd September, 2021 Prelims

 

Introduction

  • Biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.
  • They are internationally recognized, nominated by national governments and remain under sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located.
  • Biosphere Reserves involve local communities and all interested stakeholders in planning and management. They integrate three main "functions":
  1. Conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity
  2. Economic development that is socio-culturally and environmentally sustainable
  3. Logistic support, underpinning development through research, monitoring, education and training
  4. These three functions are pursued through the Biosphere Reserves' three main zones

Core Areas

It comprises a strictly protected zone that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation

Buffer Zones

It surrounds or adjoins the core area(s), and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education.

 

Transition Area

The transition area is where communities foster socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable economic and human activities.

The Indian government has established 18 biosphere reserves (categories roughly correspondingly to IUCN Category V Protected areas) to protect larger areas of natural habitat than a typical national park or animal sanctuary, and that often include one or more national parks or reserves, along with buffer zones that are open to some economic uses. Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life.

UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list

Twelve of the eighteen biosphere reserves are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list.

 

Name

States/ UT

Year

1

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka

2000

2

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve

Tamil Nadu

2001

3

Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve

West Bengal

2001

4

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

Uttarakhand

2004

5

Nokrek Biosphere Reserve

Meghalaya

2009

6

Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve

Madhya Pradesh

2009

7

Simlipal Biosphere Reserve

Odisha

2009

8

Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve

Andaman & Nicobar Islands

2013

9

Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh

2012

10

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve

Kerala and Tamil Nadu

2016

11

Khangchendzonga National Park

Sikkim

2018

12

Panna Biosphere Reserve

Madhya Pradesh

2020

List of biosphere reserves in India

S. No.

Name

Location

State

Type

Key fauna

1

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

Part of Waynad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley

Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka

Western Ghats

Nilgiri tahr, tiger, lion-tailed macaque

2

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

Parts of Chamoli District, Pithoragarh District & Bageshwar District

Uttarakhand

Western 
Himalayas

Snow leopard, Himalayan black bear

3

Gulf of Mannar

Indian part of Gulf of Mannar extending from Rameswaram island in the north to Kanyakumari in the south of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka

Tamil Nadu

Coasts

Dugong

4

Nokrek

In west Garo Hills

Meghalaya

Eastern hills

Red panda

5

Sundarbans

Part of delta of Ganges and Brahmaputra river system

West Bengal

Gangetic Delta

Royal Bengal tiger

6

Manas

Part of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamrup and Darrang Districts

Assam

Eastern Hills

Asiatic elephant, tiger, Assam roofed turtle, hispid hare, golden langur, pygmy hog

7

Simlipal

Part of Mayurbhanj district

Odisha

Deccan Peninsula

Gaur, royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant

8

Dihang-Dibang

Part of Siang and Dibang Valley

Arunachal Pradesh

Eastern Himalaya

Mishmi takin, musk deer

9

Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve

Parts of Betul District, Hoshangabad District and Chhindwara District

Madhya Pradesh

Semi-Arid

Giant squirrel, flying squirrel

10

Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

Part of Annupur, Dindori and Bilaspur districts

Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh

Maikala Hills

Four-horned antelope, Indian wild dog, sarus crane, white-rumped vulture, sacred grove bush frog

11

Great Rann of Kutch

Part of Kutch, Morbi, Surendranagar and Patan districts; the largest biosphere reserve in India.

Gujarat

Desert

Indian wild ass

12

Cold Desert

Pin Valley National Park and surroundings; Chandratal and Sarchu & Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary

Himachal Pradesh

Western 
Himalayas

Snow leopard

13

Khangchendzonga National Park

Parts of Kangchenjunga

Sikkim

East Himalayas

Snow leopard, red panda

14

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve

Neyyar, Peppara and Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and their adjoining areas

Kerala, Tamil Nadu

Western Ghats

Nilgiri tahr, Asian elephant

15

Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve

Southernmost of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Islands

Saltwater crocodile

16

Dibru-Saikhowa

Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts

Assam

Eastern Hills

White-winged wood duck, water buffalo, black-breasted parrotbill, tiger, capped langur

17

Seshachalam Hills

Seshachalam Hill Ranges covering parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districts

Andhra Pradesh

Eastern Hills

Slender loris

18

Panna

Part of Panna and Chhattarpur districts in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh

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